Earl of Aberdeen's Collar, After TL (In Memory of Robert Breer)

black and white, sound, 1.5 min
scans not available
In 1829, Thomas Lawrence painted a portrait of George Hamilton-Gordon, 4th Earl of Aberdeen, which the National Portrait Gallery included it in its 2010 exhibition of Lawrence's portraits and also used ...
Rental format: DVD NTSC

About

In 1829, Thomas Lawrence painted a portrait of George Hamilton-Gordon, 4th Earl of Aberdeen, which the National Portrait Gallery included it in its 2010 exhibition of Lawrence's portraits and also used as the poster for the show. Most days I saw the poster in the underground and my eye always went straight to the collar of the Earl's shirt, which shows above his cravat and looks like something Lawrence has simply tossed off in a display of painterly virtuosity. I wondered if it really had been a one-off or the best of several tries. With this in mind, I cut a collar-shaped stencil from a reproduction of the painting and printed around 30 copies, all of which turned out different to a greater or lesser degree; these variations form the basis of this simple animation. I meant it to be silent, but one day the radio was playing in the studio. As I clicked the mouse to run through what I'd decided was the finished film, the radio began broadcasting a performance by Malian singer Oumou Sangare and her band which, spookily, seemed in synch with the rhythms of the film. Next day I tuned in to a repeat of the programme and recorded just the first minute or so of the song which I then adjusted to the length of the film. Midway through making the film I learned of the death of Robert Breer; I completed it with him in mind.

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